Huntsville parents frustrated by aide pay cut

One parent said she's disappointed the school district set the salary at $3.25 less than the aides made this year.

Posted: May 18, 2018 6:48 PM

WAAY 31 worked to learn more about Huntsville City School District’s plan to cut salaries for special need aides.

The District told us it’s not worried about slashing the salary by more than three dollars.

One parent of a special needs student is concerned what this means for her child’s education.

"Decreasing the pay decreases the amount of people that want the job. And we need these people," said Amanda Waldrop who's a parent.

She has two special needs students at Chapman Elementary School in Huntsville.

She’s disappointed the school district set the salary for special needs aides at $11.75. That's $3.25 less than the aides made this year.

The change also comes with a change in contracting agencies. The District signed a deal with PESG Thursday night.

In a surprise announcement, the company said it will make up the difference in the aides salary, but Waldrop said it's not a part of the contract, so she's weary it will actually happen.

"There's nothing in a promise . It's definitely really disappointing that it's something that isn't already in the contract. I'm sure it's disappointing also to them and their families, " she said.

It's just a promise and she 's worried the aides will look elsewhere for a job.

"Unfortunately, I'm afraid we aren't going to have as many people take the job because they aren't going to get paid for it," she added.

We took her concerns to Huntsville City Schools. The District's spokesman told us the minimum rate for aides was set based on what they make in surrounding districts and it's what the budget allows.

"When you have the cost of your personnel usually that's about 80%- 85% of your budget there's not a lot of other funding in there left to have a lot of flexibility on that. But, certainly we want to pay as much as we can to have the quality we want to have for our students," said Keith Ward.

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